Arsenal produced a shocking second-half comeback to maneuver seven factors clear on the prime of the Premier League with a 3-1 win over West Ham, on an evening when former Gunners boss Arsene Wenger returned to the Emirates Stadium for the primary time since leaving the membership in 2018.
Wenger, who spent 22 years at Arsenal, had not hidden the truth that he discovered his Arsenal departure troublesome and insisted he did not have any plans to return to observe his former aspect.
Nonetheless, FIFA’s chief of world soccer growth was again, and it regarded like his former aspect have been heading for a troublesome evening after they went behind to Stated Benrahma’s penalty after William Saliba introduced down Jarrod Bowen contained in the field (27).
The Gunners wanted to discover a response after the break and so they did simply that as two objectives in 5 minutes from Bukayo Saka (53) and Gabriel Martinelli (58) introduced a smile to Wenger’s face, earlier than Eddie Nketiah, main the road for Arsenal within the absence of Gabriel Jesus, rounded off a superb evening for Mikel Arteta’s aspect (69).
Victory sees Arsenal transfer seven factors away from second-placed Newcastle, who beat Leicester 3-0 earlier on Boxing Day, whereas third-placed Man Metropolis have the possibility to reply after they journey to Leeds on Wednesday.
In the meantime, West Ham, who suffered a fourth straight Premier League defeat, stay sixteenth.
Arsenal: Ramsdale (6), White (7), Saliba (6), Gabriel (6), Tierney (6), Partey (7), Xhaka (7), Odegaard (8), Saka (8), Martinelli (7), Nketiah (8).
Subs: Zinchenko (6), Vieira (n/a), Elneny (n/a).
West Ham: Fabianski (6), Coufal (6), Dawson (6), Kehrer (6), Cresswell (6), Soucek (6), Rice (7), Paqueta (6), Bowen (7), Benrahma (7), Antonio (6).
Subs: Fornals (n/a), Mubama (n/a).
Man of the match: Martin Odegaard.
How Arsenal stormed again to beat West Ham…
Arsenal’s particular visitor was up on his toes as early because the fourth minute when Saka thumped the ball into the roof of the web from a decent angle, however Wenger and the Gunners have been pressured to chop their celebrations quick because the ball flicked Nketiah, who was in an offside place, on the way in which by means of to Saka.
Wenger would have been happy with what he noticed, nonetheless, because the Gunners dominated the early phases. Martin Odegaard was inches away from taking part in Granit Xhaka in on purpose, whereas moments later, the Switzerland worldwide’s low shot was effectively held by Lukasz Fabianski.
However for all Arsenal’s dominance, it was West Ham who took the lead. Moyes’ aspect had threatened on a few earlier events on the counter-attack, and so they made one rely as Bowen pressured Saliba right into a determined lunge simply contained in the penalty space.
The Frenchman made contact with Bowen, who tried to remain on his toes earlier than finally going to floor, and referee Michael Oliver pointed to the spot. After a VAR verify, Benrahma made no mistake to attain solely West Ham’s fourth away purpose of the season.
As they’ve finished already this season on numerous events, the house followers tried to galvanise their group, and Arsenal thought they’d a manner again into the sport deep into first-half stoppage time. Odegaard’s shot was blocked with what referee Michael Oliver thought was Cresswell’s arm and he pointed to the penalty spot.
- The massive information for Arsenal was that William Saliba went straight again into the group regardless of being a part of the France squad that misplaced within the World Cup remaining solely eight days in the past. Ben White, who left England’s World Cup squad early, additionally began in Arsenal’s defence, whereas Kieran Tierney was at left-back, with Oleksandr Zinchenko solely on the bench following his return from damage, and Takehiro Tomiyasu not within the squad. Eddie Nketiah led the road within the absence of the injured Gabriel Jesus and he was flanked by Gabriel Martinelli and Bukayo Saka, each of whom impressed in Qatar.
- Michail Antonio shook off a calf pressure to begin up entrance for West Ham, with Gianluca Scamacca lacking out because of an obvious ankle drawback. Declan Rice went straight again into the aspect having featured for England on the World Cup and he was joined in midfield by Lucas Paqueta, who performed for Brazil in Qatar. Thilo Kehrer, one other participant concerned on the World Cup, with Germany, began at centre-back together with Craig Dawson, whereas Jarrod Bowen and Stated Benrahma have been chosen on the flanks.
Nonetheless, after being despatched to the pitch aspect monitor by VAR, Oliver modified his determination after seeing the ball clearly come off Creswell’s head, leaving West Ham going into the break forward.
An enormous half-time group speak was wanted from Arteta, and he received the response he wished from his aspect early within the second half, albeit with a stroke of fortune.
Odegaard’s wayward long-range effort landed fantastically on the toes of Saka, who managed it completely earlier than stroking a cool end into the underside nook.
The Emirates was rocking once more, and the smile was firmly again on Wenger’s face because the Gunners produced a transfer harking back to the Frenchman’s finest years in control of the north London membership. They labored the ball rapidly to Martinelli, who fired a superb low end previous Fabianski at his close to publish to finish a shocking turnaround.
The factors have been made secure when Odegaard’s go picked out Nketiah, and the striker turned Thilo Kehrer brilliantly earlier than firing an emphatic end into the underside nook to finish a superb evening for Arsenal, Arteta and the Gunners’ returning boss.
Arsenal’s ready deputy takes his probability
Sky Sports activities’ Oliver Yew on the Emirates Stadium:
There was loads being positioned on the shoulders of Eddie Nketiah forward of the Premier League’s return.
It was no secret that Mikel Arteta was placing his belief within the striker with Gabriel Jesus sidelined by an damage he picked up on the World Cup with Brazil.
May Nketiah fill the void of Jesus? May he assist maintain Arsenal’s title problem on observe within the absence of the Brazilian? There have been doubts, and loads of them.
There’s strain any time you play for Arsenal Soccer Membership. I am not right here to interchange him, I wish to be my very own participant, however all of us want him effectively.
Not from the Arsenal camp, nonetheless. Arteta was satisfied Nketiah had what it took, and skipper Martin Odegaard insisted in his programme notes that Nketiah was prepared.
He had the assist of the Emirates crowd too. They have been keen him to attain as he raced clear within the first half earlier than his shot was effectively blocked. However they did finally get their second as Nketiah produced the second of the match to show Thilo Kehrer earlier than firing an emphatic end previous Luka Lukasz Fabianski to seal all three factors for Arsenal.
‘Eddie, Eddie, Eddie’ rung across the Emirates and his confidence would have been lifted by the purpose and the assist, nevertheless it wasn’t simply the purpose that was spectacular from Nketiah. His willingness to do loads of the soiled work Jesus does for Arsenal did not go unnoticed. His willingness to carry the ball up and play together with his again to purpose was excellent, whereas his capability to convey his team-mates into the sport would have delighted Arteta.
It is just one step on what remains to be an extended street for Nketiah and Arsenal, however there ought to now be no doubts that Nketiah has the flexibility to steer the road for the Gunners.
Arteta: I simply gave Nketiah a giant hug
Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta on Eddie Nketiah’s efficiency:
“I simply gave him a giant hug as a result of he completely deserved that with the play he performed.
“He confirmed his power, high quality and timing, the composure of the end. It was an impressive efficiency from him.
“He has been making an attempt in the previous few video games and has the capability to attain. We see it day-after-day in coaching and that may give him confidence.”
Opta stats: Arsenal comeback to stun West Ham once more
- Arsenal have come from behind to beat West Ham eight occasions within the Premier League, greater than they’ve towards another opponent.
- West Ham supervisor David Moyes has misplaced 15 Premier League away video games towards Arsenal, equalling Harry Redknapp for essentially the most away defeats towards a selected opponent within the competitors (15 vs Man Utd).
- Arsenal have received 10 consecutive Premier League house video games for the primary time since April 2019, whereas that is the primary time they’ve finished so whereas scoring 2+ objectives every time since November 2017.
Saturday thirty first December 5:00pm
Kick off 5:30pm
Subsequent up for Arsenal is a visit to Brighton on New 12 months’s Eve, which is stay on Sky Sports activities; kick-off 5.30pm.
In the meantime, West Ham host Brentford on Friday December 30; kick-off 7.45pm.